A rain-affected second Test at Lord's resulted in a gripping draw that went down the final over. Beersy & Bellots from the Triple M Cricket Fan Podcast run their eye over every player for both sides!
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By Tom Beers
Cam Bancroft (13 & 16) - 3
Bancroft failed to convert two starts but fulfilled his role to take the shine off the ball by batting for over an hour in both innings. His place in the side might be under pressure, but unfortunately for the Aussies' he's our best performing opener!
David Warner (3 & 5) - 1
"Warner quiet again" in the words of our very own Billy Brownless. He's becoming a massive worry at the top of the order, only averaging 4.5 this series. He also dropped two crucial catches in the cordon late on Day 4 including eventual centurion Ben Stokes when he in single figures which hurt our chances of victory. He needs a big match in Leeds otherwise he might be carrying the drinks by the fourth Test!
Usman Khawaja (36 & 2) - 3
Uzzie looked promising in the first innings but threw away his wicket at a crucial time which handed England the momentum. He then missed out in the second dig when we really needed him to stand tall.
Steve Smith (92 & DNB) - 9
We may have witnessed one of the most courageous innings of the modern era. He battled on bravely with a busted arm and was rattled by a brutal bounced from Archer which forced him to retire hurt. But he wasn't done yet, he came back out and saw us crawl to a respectable first innings total. Fingers crossed he is available for the next Test, he is the difference between the two side.
Travis Head (7 & 42*) - 6
Head gains extra points for his knock during the second innings. He was vital for us holding on for a draw. The South Australian won't want to watch his first innings dismissal again, but he stood up under pressure in the second innings when the game was in the balance.
Matthew Wade (6 & 1) - 1
Only seven runs in the Test match is not the return he was after. He did well to survive the onslaught on Day 3, but ultimately didn't contribute enough during the match. He now has three single figure scores to go with his century at Edgbaston, we need a bit more consistency out of him.
Tim Paine (23 & 4, 6 catches) - 5
His 23 in the first dig doesn't look that flash on paper, but in the context of the game it was very important. England were right on top and Jofra was absolutely peppering him with short stuff. He did well to stick with Smith and holt England's momentum. He was tidy enough with the gloves, but we needed him to really dig in during the second innings and he couldn't.
Pat Cummins (3/61 & 3/35, 20 & 1*) - 8
You've gotta love this bloke - he was our most consistent performer over the duration of the match. He took three wickets in both innings which is a solid return, but his gutsy 20 off 80 (first innings) against Archer in full-flight was his most commendable feat. He didn't take a backwards step and held off an extremely fierce spell of bowling.
Peter Siddle (1/48 & 2/54, 9 & DNB) - 5
Siddle was desperately unlucky yet again to not pick up a few more wickets. He has fulfilled his role as the work horse of the attack again.
Nathan Lyon (3/68 & 0/102, 6 & DNB) - 3
This might be a harsh rating for the GOAT, but he really struggled in the second innings when we needed him to fire. If a couple of 50/50 decisions and missed chances had've gone his his way it could've been a different story. But he struggled for consistency and leaking over 100 runs (4 RPO) in the second dig isn't good enough for a player of his quality.
Josh Hazlewood (3/58 & 0/43) - 4
He looked very good with the new ball in the first innings picking up two quick wickets in his first spell, but failed to have much of an impact after that. Will be interesting to see if the selectors stick with him or re-call James Pattinson
Marnus Labuschagne (DNB & 59)
The Super Sub - Who even needs Steve Smith? What an innings! His second innings fifty was exceptional and was the driving force behind holding on for a draw. Will be hard to leave out in Leeds.
NOTE: No rating was given for Labuschange due to only batting for one innings.
The Triple M Cricket Fan Podcast ran through the big talking points from the second Test, check it out!
by Matt Bellotti
Rory Burns (53 & 29) - 7
Whisper it quietly, but this bloke *might* actually be able to bat. Still looks like a cockatoo with dyspepsia in his stance, but seems the most solid of England's top order (admittedly that's like saying the soft, sponge base is the most solid part of a trifle).
Jason Roy (0 & 2) - -10
I have gone from loving Jason Roy last month when he was instrumental in England's World Cup win, to being pretty ticked off by him last week when he did his silly dance down the wicket, to now wanting him erased from the face of the planet. Not painfully. I'm not malicious. But he must go away forever and never ever even think of playing cricket for England again. His batting was hideous, his dropped catch cost England 20 overs at the tail and the end of Travis Head, i.e. he cost us the Test. And for that he must be obliterated from humanity.
Joe Root (14 & 0) - 4
Unlikely to get a sponsorship from Trip Advisor anytime soon, thanks to his dreadful reviewing. Captaincy was better than the First Test - much more attacking than Paine, which was a key factor in England getting closer to winning the match. But batting was hopeless as thanks to Jason Roy (the more I think about it, the more that bloke needs to get right in the sea), Root was thrust out there right after gruelling sessions in the field. Get Joe back to 4 and the runs will return.
Joe Denly (30 & 26) - 6
I like this bloke. Not sure why. Possibly it was the flamboyant and totally unnecessary way he caught Tim Paine out with his wrong hand while doing a cartwheel. I rate that stuff. Batting not bad.
Ben Stokes (13 & 115*, 0/17 & 0/16) - 8
Outstanding knock over days four and five. Superb century that no other England batsmen currently looks even close to emulating. And provided the highlight of the day, Test, year and our lives when struck in the Jason Roy and yelled out for the millions watching on tv (I like to imagine his mother watching at home) "Owwww....In The Dick!"
Jos Buttler (12 & 31) - 5
Played himself into form in that final dig. About time.
Jonny Bairstow (52 & 30*, 4 catches) - 7
Given he rediscovered his form and hit a fine 50, as well as handy 2nd innings runs, it's harsh to deduct him a point for his wicket-keeping, given how much the ball moved and having to deal with that pace and swing after it passed the stumps. But I don't care. I've done it. Besides, it's very unlikely he'll read this and hold me to account. Up yours, JB.
Chris Woakes (3/61 & 0/11, 32 & DNB) - 5
Was banking on him having a bigger influence, given his averages at Lords (65 with the bat, 9 with the ball). He knows the length for the pitch better than anyone as it's his home ground, but rarely got it up there enough. So loses a point for being too good in the past.
Jofra Archer (2/59 & 3/32, 12 & DNB) - 9
Would have been 10 if England had won the test, as what more could the bloke have done? I took my 9 year old son - who supports Australia, btw... little sod - to the nets this Sunday and he was "Joffy", getting me to edge a ball he bowled with an actual knuckle ball (don't be too impressed. I am shit at cricket). That's how big Archer is and will be for a whole generation.
Stuart Broad (4/65 & 0/29, 11 & DNB) - 7
Lovely bowling in the first innings especially. And makes me laugh when he does that silly big eyes thing like he's starring in a 1970s BBC sitcom and a lady has just walked past him wearing a low cut top.
Jack Leach (1/19 & 3/37, 6* & DNB) - 8
This man bowled spin in an attacking, aggressive way. For England. In a test match. And he did it very well. What fresh wizardry is this? We don't like your sort around here, boy.
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